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Title:
SPLIT V-ROOF MIRROR COLLECTOR FOR PHOTOSTIMULABLE PHOSPHOR IMAGING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1992/011545
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A light collector (48) collects and detects light emitted from a photostimulable phosphor sheet (44) in a photostimulable phosphor imaging system. The collector (48) includes a vertical mirror (50) extending the width of the phosphor sheet; and a V-roof mirror having upper and lower mirrors (52, 54) forming an apex facing the vertical mirror. The vertical mirror (50) and V-roof mirror (52, 54) form slots (62, 68) for passing a scanning beam of stimulating radiation through the collector (48) to the surface of the photostimulable phosphor sheet (44) and for admitting emitted light from the phoshor sheet (44) into the collector (48). The vertical mirror (50) and V-roof mirror (52, 54) form a substantially triangular cross-section which diminishes in size from one edge of the phosphor sheet (44) to the other edge thereof. A photodetector (74) is positioned at the large end of the triangular collector (50) for receiving light emitted from the photostimulable phosphor sheet (44) and for generating an electrical signal in response thereto.

Inventors:
Boutet
John
Claude
Application Number:
PCT/US1991/009499
Publication Date:
July 09, 1992
Filing Date:
December 17, 1991
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY.
International Classes:
G01T1/00; G01T1/29; G02B5/08; G02B26/10; G03B42/02; G21K4/00; H04N1/028; H04N1/10; H04N1/107; (IPC1-7): G01T1/29
Foreign References:
US4743759A1988-05-10
EP0210505A11987-02-04
US4485302A1984-11-27
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Claims:
hafc Is Claimed is;
1. A light collector for collecting and detecting light emitted, reflected or transmitted from a scanned information medium comprising: a vertical mirror extending the width of the scanned medium and having a lower edge adjacent to the scanned medium and an upper edge; a Vroof mirror located adjacent to said vertical mirror and having upper and lower mirrors forming an apex facing said vertical mirror, said upper mirror having an edge adjacent to and spaced from said upper edge of said vertical mirror and said lower mirror having an edge adjacent to and spaced from the lower edge of said vertical mirror thereby to form aligned slots for the passage of a scanning beam of radiation to a medium to be scanned and for allowing light emitted, reflected or transmitted by the scanned medium to enter the collector; wherein said vertical mirror and said upper and lower mirrors of said Vroof mirror form a substantially triangular crosssection which tapers from a large end of said collector to a small end of said collector; and photodetector means having a light receiving face located at the large end of said light collector for receiving light reflected by said collector and for generating an electrical signal in response thereto.
2. The light collector of claim 1 including an apex mirror located at the small end of said light collector and closing off said small end.
3. The light collector of claim 1 including a scanning beam of radiation which forms an angle rj, with said scanned medium and wherein said photomultiplier tube forms a tilt angle rpmt with respect to said scanned medium which is greater than said scan angle rb.
4. A mirror light collector for collecting and detecting light emitted from a photostimulable phosphor medium scanned by a beam of stimulating radiation comprising: a vertical mirror extending the width of the photostimulable phosphor medium, said vertical mirror having an upper edge and a lower edge located adjacent to said stimulable phosphor medium; a split Vroof mirror having upper and lower mirrors facing said vertical mirror, said upper mirror having an edge adjacent to and spaced from said upper edge of said vertical mirror and forming an upper slot and said lower mirror having a lower edge adjacent to and spaced from said lower edge of said vertical mirror and forming a slot aligned with said upper slot, wherein said upper and lower slots pass a beam of stimulating radiation to said photostimulable phosphor medium and said lower slot allows light emitted by said phosphor medium to enter said light collector; wherein said vertical mirror and upper and lower mirrors of said Vroof mirror form a generally triangular crosssection which tapers from a large end of said collector to a small end of said collector; and photodetector means having a light receiving face located at the large end of said light collector for receiving light emitted by said photostimulable phosphor medium and for generating an electrical signal in response thereto.
5. The light collector of claim 4 including an apex mirror vertically oriented at the small end of said light collector and closing off said small end.
6. The light collector of claim 4 including a filter for passing emitted radiation and for absorbing stimulating radiation, said filter being positioned over the light receiving face of said photodetector means.
7. The light collector of claim 4 wherein said scanning beam of stimulating radiation forms an angle rb with a line which is perpendicular to said photostimulable phosphor medium and wherein said photodetector means is tilted at an angle rpmt which is greater than said scanned beam angle rb but wherein said photodetector means does not interfere with said scanning beam of stimulating radiation.
Description:
gPLIT V-ROOF MIRROR COLLECTOR FOR

PHOTOSTIMOLABLE PHOSPHOR IMAGING SYSTEM

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Technical field

The invention relates to apparatus for reading out the image stored in a photostimulable phosphor image recording medium. More particularly, this invention relates to apparatus for collecting and detecting the radiation emitted from the photostimulable phosphor in response to interrogation by stimulating radiation.

Background Art In a photostimulable phosphor imaging system, as described in U.S. Patent Number Re. 31,847, reissued March 12, 1985 to Luckey, a photostimulable phosphor sheet is exposed to an image-wise pattern of short wavelength radiation, such as X-ray radiation, to record a latent image pattern in the photostimulable phosphor sheet. The latent image is read out by stimulating the phosphor with a relatively long wavelength stimulating radiation, such as red or infrared light. Upon stimulation, the photostimulable phosphor releases emitted radiation of an intermediate wavelength, such as blue or violet light, in proportion to the quantity of short wavelength radiation that was received. To produce a signal useful in electronic image processing, the photostimulable phosphor sheet is scanned in a raster pattern by a beam of light produced, for example, by a laser deflected by an oscillating or rotating scanning mirror. The emitted radiation from the stimulated phosphor is sensed by a photodetector, such as a photomultiplier tube, to produce electronic image signals.

In one type .of scanning apparatus, the photostimulable phosphor sheet is placed on a

translation stage and is translated in a page scan direction past a laser beam that is repeatedly deflected in a line scan direction to form a scanning raster. To optimize the signal-to-noise ratio of the imaging system, it is desirable to collect as much of the emitted light as possible and to direct it to the photodetector. One form of light collector is proposed in U.S. Patent No. 4,346,295, issued August 24, 1982 to Tanaka et al. The light collector proposed by Tanaka includes a light guide member comprising a sheet of light transmitting material that is flat on one end and rolled into an annular shape on the opposite end. The flat end of the light collector is positioned adjacent to the scan line on the photostimulable phosphor sheet. The light receiving face of a photomultiplier tube is placed against the annular end of the light guiding member. Such a light collection system has the disadvantages of being expensive and inherently complicated to manufacture. Furthermore, the collection efficiency of transparent light guide members is limited due to their absorption in the wavelength range of light emitted by photostimulable phosphors. In order to provide an easily manufacturable, low cost, high efficiency light collector, the present inventor proposed a double roof mirror light collector in U.S. Patent No. 4,743,759, issued May 10, 1988, inventor John C. Boutet. As disclosed in this patent, a light collector for collecting and detecting light emitted from a photostimulable phosphor sheet in a photostimulable phosphor imaging system, includes a roof mirror light collector having a bottom roof mirror extending the width of the photostimulable phosphor sheet and a top roof mirror positioned over the bottom roof mirror to define a mirror box having a nearly square cross-section. The roof mirrors define slots

along their peaks for passing a scanning beam stimulating radiation through the light box to the surface of the photostimulable phosphor sheet and for admitting emitted light from the photostimulable phosphor sheet into the light box. A photodetector is positioned at an end of the light box to convert collected light into an electronic signal representative of the latent image stored in the phosphor sheet. Figure 13 of the above-mentioned patent, discloses a light collector which tapers from one end to the other with a light detector at the large end of the collector.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, there is provided a light collector for collecting and detecting light emitted from a photostimulable phosphor sheet in a photostimulable phosphor imaging system which has high light collection efficiency and ease of manufactureability. According to a feature of the present invention, the light collector includes a vertical mirror and a V-roof mirror facing the vertical mirror having upper and lower mirrors meeting at a right angle apex. The vertical mirror and V-roof mirror form slots for passing a scanning beam of stimulating radiation to a photostimulable phosphor sheet and for admitting emitted light into the mirror collector. The vertical mirror and V-roof mirror form a substantially triangular cross-section having a large dimension located at one end of the photostimulable phosphor sheet and tapering to a small dimension at the other end of the photostimulable phosphor sheet. A photodetector, such as a photomultiplier tube, is positioned at the large open end of the collector to convert collected light into an electronic image signal.

BRIEF PESCRIPTION OF THE PRA INGS

In the detailed description of the invention presented below, reference is made to the accompanying drawings in which like elements are numbered with like numbers.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a roof mirror light collector useful in describing the background of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view useful in explaining the background of the present invention; and FIGS. 5 and 6 are respectively side and front elevational views showing another embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown an embodiment of a double V-roof mirror collector as described in my U.S. Patent 4,743,759. As shown, a photostimulable storage phosphor plate 10 is moved in the direction of arrow 12 past a double V-roof mirror light collector 14. Collector 14 include mirrors 16, 18, 20, and 22 which form a box shaped collector which extends across the width of storage phosphor plate 10 and which tapers from a large end 24 to a smaller end 26. Slots 28 and 30 at the top and bottom of the box mirror pass a laser scanning beam of stimulating radiation through the light box collector to the surface of phosphor sheet 10. Light emitted by phosphor sheet 10 is admitted into the light box collector through slot 30 and is reflected by mirrors 16, 18, 20, and 22 into a photomultiplier tube 32. Although the collector of FIG. 1 has high light collection efficiency and has manufacturing

simplicity over prior art light guide member collectors and cylindrical collectors, there are applications where the large size of such collector is inappropriate. The size of the mirrors of the FIG. 1 design can get quite large making for a tall and wide collector envelope at the photomultiplier tube (PMT) end. Moreover, light tends to leak out of the open regions between the photomultiplier tube and the mirror edges. Moreover, the tilt angle of the PMT is constrained by the scan angle of the laser beam.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a photostimulable phosphor imaging system having an embodiment of the present invention. Although the embodiment will be described as useful in collecting light in a storage phosphor type system, it will be understood that the collector according to the present invention may be used in other light collecting applications, such as film digitizers or other applications where light is transmitted, reflected or emitted from a surface. As shown in FIG. 2, a laser source 34 emits a laser beam 36 which is reflected from an oscillating mirror 38 driven by galvo 40. A mirror 42 deflects the scanning laser beam 36 to sweep it across a storage phosphor medium such as storage phosphor plate 44 which stores a latent image produced by X-rays. For example, the storage phosphor plate 44 is moved in the direction of arrow 46 so that the plate is scanned in a raster pattern by the coordinated movement of the scanning laser beam 36 across the width of plate 44 and the movement of plate 44 in the direction of arrow 46 under the scanning beam. Other storage phosphor media such as storage phosphor sheets, storage phosphor belts, storage phosphor drums, etc., may be used in a system incorporating the present invention.

The latent image is read out by means of radiation emitted at a wavelength different from the stimulating radiation wavelength of laser beam 36.

According to the present invention, a split V-roof mirror collector 46 is provided to collect the emitted light from storage phosphor plate 44. Collector 46 includes a vertical mirror 50 and upper and lower V-roof mirrors 52 and 54, which form an apex 56, facing vertical mirror 50. The top edge 58 of mirror 52 and the top edge 60 of mirror 50 are spaced apart to form an upper slot 62. A lower edge 64 of mirror 54 and lower edge 66 of mirror 50 are spaced apart and form a bottom slot 68 which is adjacent to storage phosphor plate 44. Slots 62 and 68 are aligned and permit passage of laser scanning beam 36 to stimulate the storage phosphor plate 44. Slot 68 also allows light emitted by storage phosphor plate 44 to be transmitted into collector 48 where it is reflected off mirrors 50, 52, and 54 and an apex mirror 72 into a photodetector comprising photomultiplier tube 74 having a filter 76 which only passes emitted light to PMT 74 and not reflected stimulating light. For example, if the laser beam 36 has a wavelength in the red or infrared region and the light emitted by storage phosphor plate 44 is blue light, filter 76 is a blue filter which passes all emitted radiation to photomultiplier tube 74 but which blocks stimulating radiation of red or infrared light.

As shown more clearly in FIG. 3, collector 48 spans the width of storage phosphor plate 44 and is tapered from a larger end 78 to a smaller end 80. The larger end 78 is open and locates photomultiplier tube 74. The smaller end 80 of collector 48 is closed off by apex mirror 72. Mirrors 50, 52 and 54 form a generally triangular cross-section which is tilted at end 78. PMT 74 is also tilted at the same angle which is

deter ined by the angle of incidence r of the laser beam relative to storage phosphor plate 44. Mirrors 50, 52, 54, and 70 are highly specularly reflective and preferably have peak specular reflection efficiency at the wavelength of the radiation emitted by storage phosphor plate 44.

As shown in FIG. 4, (which is an elevational view of the double V-roof mirror collector shown in FIG. 1), the tilt angle which photomultiplier tube 74 can have is constrained by the angle at which the photomultiplier tube starts to interfere with the scanning laser beam 36. If the photomultiplier tube is tilted to increase collection efficiency, the scanning beam is interfered with and improper readout of phosphor plate 44 results. However, according to the present invention, the photomultiplier tube 74 and its housing may be located to the side of the scanning beam. Thus, the tilt angle thereof is not restricted by the angle of incidence of the laser scanning beam since the photomultiplier tube 74 does not interfere with the beam.

In the embodiment of the present invention, shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the tilt angle rp mt of the PMT 74 is greater than the maximum laser beam tilt angle r b . In this embodiment, mirrors 50, 52, and 54 are shortened in length at the upper slot 62 so that the larger end 78 is closer to the smaller end 80 of collector 48.

Industrial Applicability and Advantages

The split V-roof mirror light collector of the present invention, is useful in a photostimulable phosphor scanning apparatus. It has the advantages of high light collection efficiency, ease of manufacture, compact design, and noninterference with the laser scanning beam.